According to many lovers of Bangkok, the beloved city has unique character and special flavor: the mixes of the old and the new, steeped in history with the most modern conveniences. Bangkok was developed more by whim and historical changes than by urban planning; that is precisely the Thai way. Here is a possible helpful clue to get your bearings of Bangkok.
- Silom-Surawong: Silom-Surawong area is the most important business and financial center of Bangkok. From end to end, these two parallel streets are full of big blocks of multi-story building housing many leading banks, financial firms, advertising agencies, insurance companies, international hospitals, embassies, export-import houses, hotels, airlines offices, restaurants, shopping arcades, department stores, and entertainment establishments.The bars and night clubs in the famous Patpong (between Silom and Surawong) and Thaniya (further up Silom) road have been entertaining foreigners close to 50 years.Lower Silom is a center of the booming Thai gems and jewelry industry with many shops and wholesale outlets.
- The two streets are busy not only during business hours but also in the night, when people come out to eat, to entertain themselves and clients.
- Sukhumwit-New Phetburi: From the inner city of Bangkok down to Sukhumwit 63 (Soi Ekkamai) at the entrances to the lanes (Soi) off the road are numerous fashionable residences, hotels, apartment buildings, and guest houses. There are also a large numbers of excellent restaurants.In the section from Soi Nana (Sukhumwit 3 & 4) crossroads to Soi Sukhumwit 21 (Asoke Intersection) are many shops catering to foreign tourists. There are clusters of jewelry stores, leather good shops, souvenir shops, ready-made garments and tailored shops, and car rental companies.North of Sukhumwit road is the extension of Phetburi road where the long street is lit up with bright colorful neon signs and throngs of people are out to enjoy themselves in dozens of entertainment places scattered along the street.Royal City Avenue (RCA), a 2.5 kilometers stretch between Rama IX road and New Phetburi road features several pubs, discos, and restaurants.
- Ratchadaphisek: Ratchadaphisek (or Ratchada) is referred to the short distance between the Lad Phrao intersection and the Rama IX road intersection. It is a busy commercial district with several big department stores, office buildings, hotel, and a large number of good seafood restaurants. It has developed into an entertainment center for the locals with dozens of pubs. Thailand Cultural Center (the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center) is located a little way off the road often has scheduled shows and exhibitions.
- Yaowarat-Old Town-Chinatown: This area (Ratanakosin Island) contains some of Bangkok’s most historic architecture and prestigious universities. From this side of the Chao Phraya River that one takes a boat to visit the Temple of Dawn and the canals nearby. The Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew (the temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Pho (features the largest reclining Buddha), Lak Muang City Pillar), Wat Traimit (Temple of the Golden Buddha), Silapakorn University (Thailand’s premier university for the fine art studies), Thammasat University (known for its law and political science studies), and several ministries. Yaowarat is famous for its gold shops, hundreds of gold shops, looking exactly alike and for the most part selling articles at almost the same prices since the price of gold is fixed by the government.
- Pin Klao: It is on the western side of the Chao Phraya River. This area has become one of the most newly developed areas in Bangkok with several department stores, many restaurants, and nightlife establishments. The wide road starting from the bridge has many tourist attractions such as Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo, The Rose Garden, Phuttha Monthon, and Thai Human Imagery Museum. Fashionable residences line both sides of the road.
- Ramkhamhaeng: Ramkhamhaeng is a large district that lies along Ramkhamhaeng road in eastern Bangkok. This area has become a new satellite city with ever-increasing shop-houses, apartment buildings, upscale gated subdivisions, restaurants, movie theaters, department stores, hotels, and places of entertainment, catering to locals and students from universities. Tourist attractions are Safari World, Bangkok’s greatest open zoo and a leisure park and Suan Siam (Siam Park City) water and amusement park featuring man-made sea and towering slides.